Joan Oates Institute

2024 Summer Course

Monday, June 10 – Friday, June 14, 2024

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

This five-day course will be held in-person at the University of Richmond. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided each day.

It's just good teaching

The Joan Oates Institute (JOI) trains PK-12 educators and community experts to engage and empower all students through creative and experiential methods, reflection, and collaboration.

Participants will experience hands-on workshops that integrate community and culture into your instructional practice through the arts and technology.

Who should attend?

PK-12 Educators

Current teachers, administrators, specialists, coordinators, and coaches can register for the course for graduate credit at our discounted PD rate, or as non-credit professional learning. Current degree-seeking students may enroll as an elective.

Community Artists and Experts

Individual teaching artists, arts and cultural staff, informal educators, community professionals, and subject matter experts should register for Professional Learning. Please inquire if you are interested in graduate credit or pursuing a degree.

Transformative Professional Development

This institute will transform how you teach. Educators will learn from and with regional and national-level artists and experts this summer, with time built in to each day for collaborative planning best practices.

The driving question of our training is, “How do we learn?” This informs the thinking tools we provide so that you can connect curricular content to real-world experiences for students, practicing place-based education and supporting social emotional learning.

Powerful Outcomes

You will discover a teaching and learning model designed to engage your students in deep and culturally responsive learning, both inside and outside of the school setting. View the modules in the drop down menus below for descriptions of each workshop and instructor.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • engage and empower students by connecting their backgrounds and interests to community expertise and resources
  • integrate diverse cultures to help students contextualize curriculum in the real world
  • explore big ideas through lenses of multiple disciplines in an interactive, hands-on setting
  • provide a range of creative mediums to assess comprehension in authentic and innovative ways
  • develop interdisciplinary lessons and unit plans to use in your teaching
The course may be taken for up to 50 hours of professional development, or as a graduate credit course eligible for tuition reimbursement by many school divisions.

Course Details

Expand All
  • Objectives
    • Understand the philosophy, techniques, and impacts of a multimodal, interdisciplinary approach to teaching
    • Practice inquiry-based educational methods that incorporate arts, technology, culture, and community, and examine how they influence academic and social-emotional outcomes
    • Learn how to view and apply the arts to curricular instruction and assessment with students
  • Outcomes

    Participants will create an educational plan to integrate the arts into their local school curriculum, learn about arts integration resources, and join a network of professional colleagues interested in integrating creativity and sparking curiosity in classrooms. The innovative lessons and unit plans developed in this course can become the basis of a grant proposal, PBL, or IB project.

  • 2024 Modules

    Day 1: Integrated Learning 101

    • Foundations of Integrated Learning: Partners in the Arts Director Rob McAdams (ft. Lisa Donovan) will share and model how to build a learning community based on equity, trust, and candor. Educators will access the framework for integrated instruction and assessment tools to begin a unit plan.
    • Sketchbooks: Make it your own and discover prompts and protocols for reflection.
    • Learning with ArcGIS StoryMaps: Educators will be introduced to our charts, graphic organizers, and how we use the StoryMap data visualization tool for direct instruction, virtual field trips, independent learning, and e-portfolios.

    Day 2: Exploring and Capturing Community Stories

    • Slow Journalism: Former National Geographic editor and reporter Don Belt shares his curriculum based on the Out of Eden Walk and will guide participants through close observation, mapping, photo/video basics, and interviewing processes that improve observation, active listening skills, and build deep connections to the world around them and the people in it.
    • Walk About: Practice Slow Journalism with your sketchbook in hand to capture close observations with open eyes, and ears.
    • MC (Making Connections) — Teacher as MC: Emcee BlackLiq, radio host and educator, will guide an exploration of how to create student- and community-relevant rhymes. Participants will have the opportunity to release some tension and incorporate multiple content areas. Additional MCs/DJs will join in to describe and model how to cypher.
    • Integrate Modlin Center Performances and Artists
    • Discovering Community with ArcGIS: Educators will use their own communities to research projects in American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History and analyze the systems and policies that impact their communities as they tell their personal stories from where they live and work.

    Day 3: Exploring and Integrating Cultures

    • Teacher as B-person (Breakin’): B-Boy Rave “Seven” Williams teaches the fundamentals of breakdance culture, techniques, house dance.
    • Teacher as DJ: DJ Tommy2600 shares how to use Earsketch to make beats and learn coding through the lens of DJ-ing research, techniques, non-verbal communication, and reading and firing up the room by mixing music and creating a vibe.
    • Using Comics in the Classroom: Illustrator, muralist, and comic artist Chris Visions will guide an exploration of using visuals and text sequentially to tell stories and develop literacy skills.
    • UR Museums: Integrate visual and sound processes from the Border Cantos exhibit
      (US-Mexican border images and stories in music).
    • Using Culturally Situated Design Tools: Ron Eglash’s CSDT, Culture and STEM+C, collide by studying “heritage algorithms” in everything from Native beadwork to urban graffiti.

    Day 4: Making the Connections

    • ReMix: Multi-media artist Eli Owens brings it all together using found images and sounds to create collage and videos while learning about Creative Commons, appropriation and connecting text, visuals and sound.
    • Teacher as Curator – Arts as a Regional Strategy: Dr. Lisa Donovan brings her theater and assessment work together to build teacher efficacy in ongoing assessments of creative performance tasks.

    Day 5: Empower, Reflect, Share and Celebrate

    • Harnessing Spoken Word: Paula Gillian-Akinwole will harness spoken word with a process of performance and experimentation with the different ways performed poetry can engage, empower, and amplify student voice.
    • Curriculum Slam: Participants share ideas have been sparked during the week and integration during the school year.
    • 30th Anniversary Celebration: Join the PIA community for a great party.